Hopeless Savages: The B-Sides

B-Sides: The Origin of the Dusted Bunnies, the latest in the Hopeless Savages series, is a shorter sampler than the other graphic novels. It contains three flashback stories, all written by Jen Van Meter, about Zero’s friends and bandmates. “Flora” (art by Becky Noonan (Demo)) shows the origin of the band, set against a backdrop of preteen exclusion and school politics. Flora’s somewhat pretentious, with the vocabulary of a Dawson’s Creek refugee, but she’s got an in-story reason: Mom’s a […]

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Too Much Hopeless Savages

Too Much Hopeless Savages, the third book in the Hopeless Savages series, is written by Jen Van Meter and drawn by Christine Norrie and Ross Campbell. It begins with mom Nikki’s mother holding a protest on the family’s lawn. Gran has taken up with a religious type and, convinced that punk is sinful, calls the children names on TV. Arsenal and Twitch, meanwhile, are dating the Shi brothers (Claude and Henry, in a followup to “Romance #1” from the first […]

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Hopeless Savages: Ground Zero

Hopeless Savages: Ground Zero, the second book in the series written by Jen Van Meter, is illustrated by Bryan Lee O’Malley (Scott Pilgrim) with flashbacks by Andi Watson (Breakfast After Noon), Christine Norrie (Hopeless Savages Book 1), and Chynna Clugston (Blue Monday). Cover and chapter break art is by Terry Dodson. It focuses on Zero, the youngest child of the punk family, as she’s beginning to think about dating. It’s a touching, very real portrait of the problems of being […]

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Hopeless Savages

If you ever dreamed of having a hip family with cool siblings with attitude who still cared deeply for each other, you’ll love Hopeless Savages. Two former punks who grew up (but never grew out of the lifestyle) have a family of kids with names like Skank Zero, Arsenal Fierce, and Twitch Strummer. When the parents are kidnapped, the kids have to figure out how to save them. That means they have to reconnect with outcast brother Rat, who doesn’t […]

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Wandering Star

Wandering Star is a story of interstellar adventure that begins as a flashback, with an older Casandra Andrews recalling her activities during the war. Her father was President of the United Nations on a post-WW III Earth with a destroyed environment. Earth was asked to join the Galactic Alliance, but their people were considered second-class citizens and barbarians because of their aggression. Basically, Earth was allowed in because the other planets needed a thug on their side in order to […]

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Rumble Girls: Silky Warrior Tansie

In Rumble Girls: Silky Warrior Tansie, Lea Hernandez mixes a prep school soap opera with fighting girl manga and forward-looking science fiction to skewer popular culture and media manipulation. Raven Tansania Ransom is in training to be a rumble girl, the pilot of a hardskin, a robotic fighting suit. She’s reached that age where she’s starting to pay a different kind of attention to her coach, and she doesn’t even know yet that he’s also media phenomenon Crimson August, the […]

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Blue Monday: Painted Moon

Blue Monday: Painted Moon picks up after Absolute Beginners, with Bleu caught in the fallout of rumors about the videotape of her nude. (A short introductory comic makes fun of this order, and the actual plot points are explained inside the story in case the reader needs a memory nudge.) She’s crushing even harder on her substitute teacher, perhaps to try and forget about the other rotten things going on. Victor’s trying to do nice things for her to make […]

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Blue Monday: Inbetween Days

Inbetween Days reprints various holiday-themed stories with the Blue Monday characters by Chynna Clugston. “Dead Man’s Party” is set at Halloween. When the lights go out at a holiday party, the gang entertain themselves by telling horror stories. Since they’re realistic teenagers, they come up with ideas by inserting themselves in their favorite movies and books. The wide range of influences used adds to the entertainment, though. There aren’t many comics that range from zombie films to Gothic vampire romances […]

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